Table of Contents

Transboundary Pollution

Transboundary Pollution

Evolving Issues of International Law and Policy

NUS Centre for International Law series

Edited by S. Jayakumar, Tommy Koh, Robert Beckman and Hao Duy Phan

This important new book provides a comprehensive overview of the international legal principles governing transboundary pollution. In doing so, the experts writing in this book examine the practical applications of the State responsibility doctrine in this context. The editors bring together leading scholars and practitioners to analyse the international legal framework and cooperative mechanisms that have been developed to address this pressing issue. The book also includes case studies of Asia and Southeast Asia to demonstrate how international law governing transboundary pollution has evolved and been applied in practice.

Chapter 10: The principle and duty to cooperate: the case of conventions on transboundary pollution in Europe

Hans Christian Bugge

Subjects: law - academic, environmental law, international economic law, trade law, private international law, public international law, politics and public policy, environmental governance and regulation, environmental politics and policy


Most transboundary pollution problems today are regional and global. A number of countries are at the same time both source, and as such potentially responsible, for the pollution, and victim of the pollution. The problem may also be the result of complex cause and effect relationships, including cumulative effects. These facts limit the scope and possibility for judicial and bilateral actions based solely on the international law of State responsibility for transboundary harm. This chapter deals with the principle and duty of States to cooperate as an important part of State responsibility to prevent transboundary pollution. It presents the essence and main aspects of the principle of cooperation. It examines two examples of regional cooperation in Europe, namely the Convention on Long Range Transboundary Air Pollution (LRTAP) and the Convention on the Protection of the Marine Environment in the North East Atlantic. It offers a few ‘lessons learnt’, showing that cooperation requires ‘packages’ of several essential and closely interlinked activities and commitments.

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